Candle safety

Essential tips and guidelines for safely using candles, tea-lights, oil lamps, and essential oil burners.

Using candles safely

Candles are a great way to add ambiance and warmth to any room, but they can also pose a fire hazard if not used properly. Candles are a major cause of fires.  

Consider using battery operated candles, which give the same light effect without the risk from flames.


Candles are a popular and comforting addition to any home, but they can also be a fire hazard if not used properly. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using candles. 

  1. Never leave a burning candle unattended. This is the most important rule of candle safety. Always extinguish candles before leaving a room or going to bed. 
  2. Use sturdy candle holders made of non-flammable materials. Make sure the candle fits snugly in the holder and can't tip over. Place them on a heat-resistant surface.  
  3. Keep candles and flames away from clothes, curtains, cushions, paper and other flammable materials.  
  4. Do not put candles under shelves, the heat rises up to the shelf and can cause a fire. 
  5. Ensure candles are out of reach of children and pets and never leave them alone with burning candles. 
  6. Do not use candles if you’ve been drinking alcohol or feel sleepy.
  7. Trim the wick to 1/4 inch before lighting the candle. A longer wick can cause the candle to burn too quickly or unevenly. 
  8. Don't burn candles all the way down to the bottom. The heat from the flame can cause the container to crack or break. 


Tea-lights are cheap and small, but as they are an open flame they are just as dangerous as other candles. The little metal pots that tea-lights come in can get very hot. They can melt through plastic and have the potential to start a house fire. 

Here are some tips for using tea-lights safely. 

  1. Never leave a lit tea-light unattended, even for a few seconds. 
  2. Use a holder designed specifically for tea-lights. The holder should be made of non-flammable materials and should be sturdy enough to hold the candle upright. 
  3. Place the tea-light holder on a flat, stable surface. Otherwise, the hot wax can spill out causing the tea-light candle to fall over.  
  4. As you would a candle, keep them away from flammable objects such as curtains and paper.  

Oil lamps

While oil lamps don’t drip hot wax like candles, they do contain liquid that can go on fire. Here are some tips for using oil lamps safely. 

  1. Keep them away from other heat sources, like radiators and fireplaces. 
  2. Keep your spare oil in a proper bottle, away from heat and children. 
  3. Keep the wick properly trimmed. A longer wick can cause the flame to become too large and create a fire hazard.   
  4. Use a stable and non-flammable base for the oil lamp. The base should be wider than the lamp to prevent it from tipping over. 
  5. Don't fill the lamp too full with oil. Overfilling can cause the oil to spill and potentially start a fire. 
  6. Don’t use a cracked or broken oil lamp. 


Although there’s no flame, the embers of incense sticks or cones get very hot and can start fires.  

  1. Always use an incense holder that is designed for burning incense. This helps prevent it from falling over and catching the ash. 
  2. Place the incense burner on a heat-resistant surface such as a ceramic tile or a metal plate to avoid any risk of fire. 
  3. Keep incense away from flammable objects, such as curtains or papers, and out of reach of children and pets. 
  4. Never leave burning incense unattended and make sure to fully extinguish it before leaving the room or going to bed. 

Essential-oil burners

Essential oil-burners are a popular way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, but they also require some precautions. Here are some tips for using essential oil-burners safely. 

  1. Never use a cracked or broken essential oil-burner and never let the oil burn right down. 
  2. Use a burner that is made specifically for essential oils. Regular candle holders are not designed to hold essential oils and can become too hot. 
  3. Use a heat-resistant surface for the burner. The surface should be stable and non-flammable. 
  4. Don't leave the burner unattended while it's in use. Essential oils can be flammable, and the burner can become too hot. 
  5. Use a small amount of essential oil. Using too much oil can cause the flame to become too large and create a fire hazard. 

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